The Fitness Industry Association is working with their members to promote the first ever Government cancer campaign which raises awareness of the key signs and symptoms of bowel cancer, and prompts those with relevant symptoms to visit their GP. The campaign is first being piloted in the South West and East of England.
The FIA, and the Department of Health, are also calling on REPs registered instructors to help spread the word about the campaign and will be sending out letters to 6,000 REPs members in the pilot areas. Each letter will include a credit-card-sized information card for instructors to carry with them as an educational tool for their clients.
More than 90 per cent of people diagnosed with bowel cancer at the early stage survive for at least five years compared with only 6.6 per cent of those diagnosed at the late stage. Launched by Health Minister Paul Burstow, the ‘Be Clear on Cancer’ campaign will initially be piloted in two regions and if successful will be rolled out across the country.
FIA members are showing posters and distributing leaflets throughout March to raise awareness of the condition amongst members and their wider families. Featuring real GPs encouraging patients to talk to them about changes in their poo, the new campaign aims to make people aware of the early signs of bowel cancer and make it easier for them to discuss this with their GP.
Health Minister Paul Burstow said: “No one likes talking about their poo – it’s embarrassing. But if we see something different and tell our GP it could save our life. Early diagnosis makes a huge difference to cancer survival rates and bowel cancer is one of the biggest killers. That’s why the ‘Be Clear on Cancer’ campaign uses simple messages to make people aware of the early signs of bowel cancer and to give them the confidence to talk to their GP about them.”
David Stalker, Executive Director of the FIA said: “We are delighted that our industry is supporting the launch of ‘Be Clear on Cancer’. Early diagnosis is critical in order to save lives from the disease and get people back to full health and fitness as soon as possible . It’s great to see so many of our members, and REPs members, coming forward to support the campaign”
Ten thousand lives, across all cancers, could be saved each year if England matched the best cancer survival rates in Europe.